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Delaware Valley College
Jane H. Antheil
Hollie E. Smith
Cover drawing by Tom Brightman
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SALLY ROYAL SMITH
Devoted English Professor
1972 - 1992
elicit from the man in the doorway. It was akin to an
alcohoHc's need for a drink or an addict's need for a fix.
She wished it was not so important, this almost physical need
she had for approval, the need she had for her feeling of self to
be justified by a stranger. She knew the feelings should come
from inside her. But knowing something and feeling it were
two different things, and inner searching was not one of her
Running wild in my summer sun dress
through the thickening of the field.
The tall grass is tickling my arms and legs
while the sun beats upon my head.
I spot a butterfly flying free in the sky.
It makes a peaceful landing on a daisy.
I stop, and watch as it feeds upon the flower.
The warm summer air blows my
long red hair.
I love the summer.
When you grow up you don't hear the birds.
You look at them now, but it doesn't work.
That's what growing up is about, it hurts.
I flew from Chicago to LA to dive into the ocean.
Coyotes yelping from my blood, and they moaned.
Bats diving at my head as I slept,
In the desert night where I was kept.
Always escaping a city,
I swam across a bay in Mississippi.
The mountain tops of Colorado are barren.
The water is cold, but not crisp in Lake Michigan.
There are still woods, brush, and grassy fields near Chicago.
I scooped up fish in Arizona— little minnows.
I have seen nature and herds.
Now I work with words.
I explored the National Forests.
I had to see them; it was a must.
Burning, Burning, twisting, turning.
Find the key, find the door.
Fate will do the dirty chore.
Down you go, down the hole.
But weep not, it's not your soul.
Why we laugh, why we cry.
We don't know, we just die.
After what has been said and done,
The best is all that is left to come.
Flying, flying, soaring, gliding.
They are there, because they care.
That is why they stand and stare.
Moving forward, looking back,
Everyone is dressed in black.
Climbing towards the guiding light,
You realize why you quit the fight.
Now you know you are not on Earth,
And you revel in your new rebirth.
Mother, Father, I am home.
Her eyes were a colorful green. They were like a cat's eyes. I
never studied or had the chance to study them. Maybe it was
that I wasn't at her level. She was a year behind me in high
school. Her skin was white except were it had been exposed to
the sun, there it was reddish-pink. (She used to bathe in the
sun after school). I don't remember the type of clothes she
wore. 1 do remember that I wanted to kiss this girl.
Most of our dating took place before and after my first year of
college. I liked her, she was lively and full of energy. Her
hair was pure silken blonde and she was available. She was
my dream girl, the one 1 had been looking for so long. I felt 1
had finally found the one for me. It wasn't only that she was a
blonde, I was attracted to everything about her. We knew
nothing about each other, but I thought we made a great pair. 1
found her name in the yearbook after my first faint glimpse of
her in the hallway at high school. It was Bethel. I think her
friends called her Beth. Beth seemed to be a name for a girl
with a chubby face and gray, ugly glasses. It was unusual that
she had this name.
I never quite saw her in detail. 1 couldn't see her flaws (if she
had any). All I could see was her vivid being. She was on a
different plane than 1. 1 once had dated her during high school.
We went to a Barry Manilow concert with some friends.
Before we left for the concert I stole out of the house with a
case of beer that we had acquired somehow. I only have the
memory of her falling off my shoulders onto a friend's lawn
after the show. 1 was amazed that nobody else had discovered
this blonde haired beauty. I thought we made a good pair. I
visited her once while she was baby sitting, but nothing
exciting happened, and I left early in case the couple came
home early. We wrote letters while I was in college. I
couldn't quite explain what was happening to me. We didn't
know a thing about each other. She wrote letters of funny
nonsense. I wrote serious poems about loon calls and the night
we spent dreaming on a dewy golf course.
She was beautiful. How could anyone expect anything from
her. Where was a princess like her supposed to work? Only
an acting job would fit someone like her, and even for that, she
was too beautiful. On the other hand, if she used her brains,
she could be anything she wanted.
As soon as the blonde-haired, lively Beth graduated from a
medium-sized Midwest college, she became a model. After six
months she wasn't satisfied with the pay (or future) that
modeling offered her. She decided to go back to school for her
MBA when she was twenty-four. They had three children and
hired a nanny to take care of them and the house while Beth
and her husband worked. They lived in an affluent area of
Chicago and had both their families nearby to visit when they
wanted to. The years passed and I almost forgot about her.
Even though I had only dated her four or five times, I
recognized her right away in the dining room of an
international energy meeting in Chicago. She was still
beautiful. I went over to her table and she recognized me. We
talked about how I got into the energy business and about how
long it had been since we had seen one another. Since I had
never really known her very personally I wondered if it would
be better just to end the conversation and part. I decided to
part. I gave her my business card and left.
Two months later I received a call from her. She told me she
had moved to New Jersey with her husband and family. He
had been transferred to a new Division, and she was looking
for a job. I still liked her, and I knew she would never be
satisfied as just a director. I wanted to hire her right then over
the phone, but I decided to send her to Human Resources for
an interview. Once all the formalities were taken care of, it
was my job to do the hiring.
I hired her as Vice-President, and we built a great future
together. I set the company's goals, and she had the energy
and intelligence to carry them out with me. I let her know she
was always free to leave and start her own company if she
wished. This made our relationship compatible. I thought she
had the ability to start her own company, but I wasn't sure if
she really wanted to. I never brought up the issue again
because I liked having her just where she was. We built over
forty percent of the U.S. solar energy plants and supplied the
nation with a healthy fraction of its energy. When I was
seventy-five years old, my money was working for me in
various investments. My unsure relationship with Beth had
turned into a full and productive one.
The Spirit to Be Free
Admiring the beach, smelling the sea air, the moon was full
and there was a mist in the air. No noise was to be heard, not
even the crash of a wave. All you could see was the reflection
of the moon on the peaceful sea. All of a sudden, a whirling
wind came about, and out of nowhere appeared a little girl.
She had eyes of silver, hair of gold. Her clothes were white
and black, and her shoes were the same. She had a child's
face and a mysterious grin. As she looked around, all she
could see was endless sand and the sea. She had nowhere to
run, no place to go, no purpose to be there, except to get away
and dream, or just get away. She strolled along the crest of the
sand and admired the free waters and felt how it was to be
free— no worries in the world.
She was feeling a bit scared on her own, when all of a sudden,
out of the blue came a trotting pony kicking up sand as he ran.
She noticed the pony as it came towards her, for it was
friendly. She climbed up onto it, and they rode up and down
the beach coast feeling the breeze and the motion.
The next morning rolled around with the sun rising and
reflecting on the water. The girl wanted so much to keep the
pony, but then she realized that she didn't want the
responsibility of taking care of it and thought back to what she
had felt about being free, and decided that the pony would be
better off free, also. They played for a bit more until the sun
was all the way up, and the colors of orange, red, and yellow
no longer reflected on the blue sea. She let the pony go on its
way, and as it did she waved good-bye. Right then and there,
just as the girl had come, she left with a whirl of the wind.
Now they were both free!
In every living thing is the spirit to be free!
A moment of silence, then a blinding light,
The earth trembles, as if filled with fright.
Glowing clouds and burning skies,
No one can quiet their screaming cries.
Darkened hollows and twisted shapes,
Death and destruction hides and waits.
Blackened earth and blood red seas,
Nothing can grow out of plague and disease.
But most certainly, only the strong will survive.
Years will pass and wounds will heal.
Barbarians will rule with flesh and steel.
Now we live in savage times,
God forgive us — and our crimes.
You entered my life so—
I experienced a rebirthofsorts—
When I met You
my dull, dormant life became
Colored like a child's coloring book
Beautifully colored with life.
After only one short week
The rain returned
The clouds rolled back into my life.
You moved on
My roommate's life brightened.
Essence and Ism
Richard Ziemer, Ph.D.
The one essential
Of an existential
Is me, myself, and I.
Yet the unity of such entities
Which some may deny.
For essences and Isms
Are paradoxical chasms
O'er which no spans exist.
"Mind of Idealism
And matter of Realism
Offer no solution,"
Say I's philosophical pollution,
"Of what my mind has wrought.
If "isms" flourish
Only to wax and vanish,
When will we see the quietism
I have been on a journey.
I have walked through pages
crisp and new
And tread on tattered bits
of yellow leaves.
I have searched for an ending
And peered through a tunnel
with no light.
I have run from the ignorance
of narrow minds,
And the hollowness
of shallow hearts.
It has been a journey of searching,
Of inquiry and strange music.
Lyric poems uttered with turgid tongues,
And the sounds of The Beat
Sung with a pulsing, rhythmic resonance.
Soon my journey will end.
I will touch the sacred parchment roll
And smile a smile long coming
And hug those dear
Who walked with me,
Who shared my journey.
And touched my shaking heart
With soothing fingers.
I have walked farther
Than I thought I ever could
Soon I will come home.
I stand in a crowd
Yet I stand alone.
Amongst the greatest temptations
I am myself.
The moon shone clearly, illuminating everything with an
almost unearthly glow, and the silence was broken by the
occasional bleat of a sheep, or the sharp ring of a hoof striking
The young shepherd boy whistled softly for his dog and stood
waiting while the wind blew his bangs across his face. As he
reached up to flick them from his eyes, his dog trotted out of
the darkness, eyes bright with excitement. The boy gave a
command to the dog, which stood silently and stared intently at
the herd, beginning his nightly vigilance. The young shepherd
then reached into his shirt, withdrew a worn, wooden flute and
walked over to a large boulder, his sandals kicking the pebbles
from his path. He clambered up on the rock which overlooked
the herd, situated himself as comfortably as he could and began
The notes came slowly at first, unsure of direction, but as the
boy found a path for his music, a hauntingly rich melody
flowed from his instrument.
The flock pressed closer together, drawing from each other
warmth, contentment, and to some extent, a semblance of
protection. Around them the wind began to intensify, and the
treetops swayed back and forth, creaking their protest with
every change of direction.
At his lookout, the dog stirred, lifting his nose to scent the
wind. After two deep puffs, he rose quickly, the hairs on his
neck standing straight up, giving him an impressive mane.
Growling softly, nose wrinkled and lips rippling with every
breath, he walked stiffly toward the edge of darkness and stood
waiting defiantly for whatever it was to reveal itself.
The intruder never came to light, instead it retreated to some
primeval instinct and fled. The watchdog returned to his post
and continued the surveillance of his charges.
The young herder throughout the excitement has played his
flute, unfazed by what has passed. He played the tune as he
did every night. It was very beautiful, enticing and dangerous.
Quietly, in little groups of two or three, other animals of the
wood came to the edge of the darkness, unmolested by the dog.
There were rabbits, foxes, owls and other animals, prey and
predators all together, held in a trance by the wonderful music
coming like magic from the boy and his simple piece of hollow
The speed and force of the music increased, conveying an
unnatural urgency to its listeners. Slowly, something began to
happen, first to the smaller animals, them moving on to the
What happened was nothing like a fairy tale. The
transformation did not happen instantaneously and painlessly.
Instead, the meadow was filled with the pitiful screams and
howls as the animals were molded into their new form. Bones
were broken and reshaped, skin and fiir were shed for a new
coat of dense wool. Talons and paws were sculptured into
hooves, with bone cracking sounds. After it had begun, it
required only a few minutes to accomplish the metamorphosis.
The new sheep stood defiantly as the dog began to herd them
into the group. Their eyes still showed the fear and amazement
of what had just occurred. Eventually, as the memories faded
away, they gave in to the incessant prodding of the dog, slowly
becoming part of the seemingly endless mass of wool covered
bodies. And, as the last lingering recollection became hazy and
was finally lost, these new sheep began to munch ravenously at
the cool grass of the meadow.
The shepherd boy's tune finally stopped. He slid off the stone
and walked into the dark woods as the sun began to spill into
the hidden valley while the birds began singing about the
glories and wonders of nature.
Hollie E. Smith
My senses are heightened,
But my hands are numb.
The murmurs of the people around me are not in my language.
They buzz like flies,
And I am excluded from the cacophonous parody of the music
I am a ghost.
Ephemeral tears glisten on my pale cheeks.
My eyes are the color of dried blood,
My footsteps make no sound.
As 1 reach to touch the face of a loved one,
My hand passes through them.
And all they might be able to feel is a soft breeze,
Which may not feel anything like my fingertips.
O sorrow-filled world, you tease me so!
Why, why keep your servant locked away like this, within
these feelings of flesh that did not die when flesh perished
but instead were a thousand-fold intensified and wrack me
Such.. .sweet.. .pain...
Is this hell?
Why am I so damned?
God! speak to me! You are the only one who hears!
Love! Look at me!
But alas, you are blind,
And I, 1 am alone.
Forever a shadow, behind the light of the sun...
A Soldier's Death
Bombs drop by
And thoughts of death
Weigh heavily in my head.
It's not my time.
I don't want to be dead.
The noises so loud
And a mushroom cloud,
My life is near end.
I lay down my arms,
Though I've never walked in His house before
—I pray to live
Or at least to die, in His castle.
Remembering Fr. Edward Gannon. SJ.
Edward O 'Brien, Jr.
In September 1954 I was entering my junior year at St.
Joseph's College, Philadelphia, and eager to begin the courses
in philosophy that the Jesuits offered. Living in close
proximity to the Jesuit ambience, and to the beauty of the
Gothic building and tower, I thought myself fortunate. The
college appeared like a castle where the benefits of friendship,
books and religion were obtainable.
Into this small but, I felt, select academic world, swept the
Reverend Edward Gannon, S.J., just back from Europe where
he had taken his doctorate in philosophy from the University of
Lxjuvain. To me, and to others of our circle. Father Gannon
seemed exotic and continental. There was something French
In 1954 Edward Gannon was about forty, youthful in
appearance, short, with large eyes, neatly combed hair. He
often sported a long black cloak and one of those round black
hats worn by priests in Europe. He made an unusual figure
strolling around the campus in that cloak and hat. A story
went around that he had played a Latin-American dance
number, "Tico-Tico," on the chapel organ of a Jesuit novitiate
while the novices were praying. This anecdote may sound
tame today, but then it seemed a daring caper.
"Pierre," as some called him, was brilliant, learned and witty
— with his easy grasp of complexity, his mastery of the
fluent explanation, of the subtle reference, the clever aside, the
intellectual joke, the surprising paradox, the decisive point —
the nail driven home; in, snug, done. Is it any wonder he
knocked us off our feet?
Father Gannon had taught at St. Joseph's before and now with
his doctorate he was given, so he told us, a "select" group of
fifty students culled from the class of '56. I was lucky enough
to get in that group of fifty, though my grades were not
impressive. We pitied others less fortunate who were excluded
and had to accept other teachers. We quickly decided that we
were the best class!
Anyway, we were eager to study this challenging subject called
philosophy. Even before coming to St. Joseph's, I had a
hunger for philosophy. Thus I wanted to win my spurs on the
jousting fields of dialectic. Boyishly, like young Gareth on his
way to Court, I desired to win the sword of knowledge so that
I might come to the city of understanding. And now, in the
autumn of 1954, it seemed possible that such a sword lay
almost within my grasp.
The first hour in class with Father Gannon was a remarkable
experience. He sat behind his desk and talked very quietly and
effectively about our life as students. We had listened to
teachers before, but there had been nothing like this. He told
us that as juniors we should be entering on the high-tide of our
collegiate life, for we had left behind the uncertain freshman
and sophomore years and yet still stood within the bosom of
the college. Junior year should therefore be the time when we
must put forth all our efforts to enter fully into our experience
at St. Joseph's. This inspirational talk provided the best single
hour I ever spent in class. I think every one of us had been
deeply stirred by his words that day, and they had their effect,
for that year was a sunburst of intellectual activity and
participation in the life of the college.
As students of this new teacher, we thought we were on the
threshold of something ultimate, something which would put
the seal of truth on to our view of life. We thought we were
going to "get everything settled," to slay all dragons of error,
and to apprehend all principles of knowledge.
How could any teacher possibly fulfill these expectations? I
suppose we were lucky that he did what he did. Edward
Gannon did not let us down. At least as we were constituted at
that time of our lives, he satisfied our need for philosophic
truth. By his command over words and ideas, by his grasp of
the world and his knowledge of the Church, he made us accept
the belief that philosophy was truly that humble and obedient
servant of faith, that trustworthy handmaiden of theology which
the men of Middle Ages had said she was. He put us in touch
with an ancient yet living tradition and made us feel a part of
There were, of course, things about Father Gannon that put you
off. He had an abrupt way of saying things about you, to your
face, that you didn't want to hear. Perhaps he overvalued the
fashionable existentialists. But these are minor issues, for he
was really concerned with preparing us for life in the world.
He thought highly of good manners and etiquette, and stressed
the importance of the adult world and, like St. Paul, thought we
should get on with our jobs. He therefore never courted the
favor of the young, never pretended nor let us pretend that
youth could dictate to age and experience. He did not use dirty
words, nor slang, nor try to be one of the boys. I suspect that
the attempt to be "hip" or "cool" would have disgusted him.
He held himself at a friendly distance from his students. When
he had finished what he had to say, he went off. We didn't see
much of him after class; his life was larger than the campus.
You can look at philosophy as a smorgasbord where different
kinds of food are spread out; some of the food is good to eat;
some of it isn't. Some of it is poison. At this table, not only a
little, but a lot of knowledge, can be a dangerous thing. One
needs a gourmet guide to find what will nourish the spirit;
exotic and tempting is the table of philosophy, and humility is
necessary for he who would drink the wine of the intellect.
What did Edward Gannon teach us that could stick to the ribs?
Certain principles have come through: that there is such a thing
as unchanging truth; that when something is proven true, it
should be acted on, if possible; if proven false, it should be
discarded; that something can be immaterial yet real; and if
you contradict yourself, you don't make sense. Humanism is
not enough, and cynicism is cheap, and extreme skepticism is
stupid. Philosophy was subordinate to human relationships.
The recommended entree was Christian realism.
Homiletic and Pastoral Review
You would have thought that I'd learned
—the first time.
That things just weren't meant to be.
You hurt me so deeply~my heart is still broken.
But that didn't stop me
From doing it again.
The first time was different
You loved me But
I cared for another.
The roles are reversed
I love you
You love another
I do not know
which is worse
The broken heart (yet unmended)
Or my stupidity—
For the second time
it surely is
Prince in Mv Dreams
Hollie E. Smith
Where are you my love?
I see your fece so clearly in my dreams.
Dark, dark hair frames your sculpted face,
Raven's wings folded against your brow.
Your eyes are like stars in the night.
Orb-like windows to your most naked soul.
Pools of deepest, clearest water in which I drown, locked in
your loving gaze.
Ah, to be let in so deep, to touch so intimately without ever
lifting a hand.
To be kissed so sweetly by feathery lips, like the tentative
touch of the head of a downy baby bird.
Yet the feelings that touch awakens are filled with passion
fervored and strong.
Your frame brings my Artist's Blood boiling to the surface,
begging me to put its perfection on paper to be preserved
forever for my fantasies.
Strong, loving arms that hold me so tightly against your
Muscles rippling underneath back, chest and legs, reminding
me of some great panther crouching, eyes wild and feral in
the ecstasy of physical strength and endurance, waiting for
its moment to spring.
And only I may tame this beast.
He loves only me.
But sadly, he exists only in my dreams.
Riding his black horse over the misty moors of some faraway
country to me, so we may spend what little time we have
together with our love.
Hearing his soft, musical voice whisper words of tenderness
undying, of passion that will last forever.
Promising that someday more than just our spirits will meet,
Someday flesh will touch flesh.
And I will no longer have to sleep to be in his arms...
Some Children Live Like Gods
I was striving
For one more moment.
One more piece of life.
A touch of soil.
One more game
Just one more day
Richard Ziemer, Ph.D.
Once upon a mealtime dreary,
While we labored long and weary
Shelling shrimp and food for mortals,
Came this feline to our portal.
White she was and free of tether.
Licking whiskers soft and fine.
But alas, she had no collar;
"Fluff" became her name in time.
AristoCATically espoused us,
Claimed our Persian rugs for lairs.
Whisker Lickens as her menus.
Made her meals from Checkerboard Square.
Her curious reluctance to leave
Convinced us that she liked our fare.
And since that day eight years ago
Has spent the best of nine lives here.
Many things happen that
we cannot explain.
Often these things are
in my dreams.
There are times when a
silence fills the air,
Or the clouds circle above
my head and cry.
I dream of the plains,
stretching on forever,
And the morning dew glistening
on the new spring grass.
I dream of the mountains casting
a shadow from the sun's rays.
While the birds fly free
in the open sky.
Aren't my dreams beautiful?
It makes a peaceful landing on a daisy.
I stop, and watch as it feeds upon the flower.
The warm summer air blows my
long red hair.
I love the summer.